The Gates Foundation has provided this video to show how one of their grantees’ low-cost treadle pumps are helping Indian farmers access irrigated water for their crops.
These water pumps are supplied by International Development Enterprises (IDE). They are designed to be cost-effective and low-maintenance, with only one part needed to be changed each year at a cost of 20 U.S. cents. Farmers simply dig a bore hole, insert a plastic tube into the hole and then connect the pump to this tube. Farmers then operate the pump using their leg muscles, and they can even pump extra water into adjacent reservoirs for on-going regulated use.
Only one in three farmers currently has access to irrigation in India. Accessing this technology helps smallholder farmers make more long-term investments, such as improved seeds and fertilizers, for their fields. Farmers might even be able to begin growing more lucrative cash crops such as fruits or vegetables.
In an innovative promotional campaign, IDE shares this knowledge with farmers by bringing movie screens into rural communities in the back of a van. Farmers are incentivised to watch a short presentation about the treadle water pumps by the promise of a free movie feature which is aired after the presentation finishes.